>Separate Forest From Trees – Rule of Thumb #4

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Rule #4 is separate the forest from the trees.

What this means is that we provide the users EA information in various levels of detail that is tailored to their particular needs in the organization. Moreover, each level of information is drillable (or clickable) to the next, so that user can navigate between information views.

For example, in our agency, we use a three level metamodel representing high, medium, and low, or what we call, profiles, models, and inventories.

  • Profiles are high-level, big-picture strategic views of the information; it’s the satellite view from 30,000 miles up, providing information to the executive in a quick, condensed format, usually a graphic.
  • Inventories (or catalogues) are the detailed views of information usually in database or spreadsheet format, that is typically used by the analyst. It’s the trees versus the forest; the distinct configuration items with lots of information about each one.
  • Models are the connection between the forests; they illuminate relationships between information that is especially useful to the mid-level manager working with his/her peers. These relationships include those that show how processes work, how information is exchanged between entities, or how systems interoperate.

In user-centric EA, it’s not one size fits all!

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